The immediate past Vice-President and Secretary General of the African Development Bank (AFDB), Ms Cecilia Akintomide has emphasized the need to explore innovative thinking and approach towards the pursuit of the University’s agrarian mandate. She made this known on the 21st, April 2017 at the International Conference Centre where the University community converged for the Friday Faculty Fellowship.

In her lecture titled “Agriculture as a Vector of Economic Transformation”, Ms Akintomide said what comes to mind when agriculture is mentioned among other things are cultivation, rearing of animals, planting crops, soil, food, textiles, processing, land, logistics and productivity, others are, climate change, financing, products, services, value chains, markets, equipment, economy, energy, packaging and technology. The former AFDB VP lamented that despite possessing a vast arable land, Africa is still battling with abject poverty and hunger. “80% of Agriculture is practised by the aged and this is a big challenge, as they do not have bargaining power for their farm produce. With proper management in Agriculture, we can increase economic values as products exchange hands for money. In Agriculture, you don’t only sell your product you also sell your experience because people outside your domain would want to know how you came about the product.”

While citing relevant statistics, she itemised that “Agriculture creates 70% of GDP for Nigeria and if we get Agriculture right, we can get Africa right. Economic value is taking place outside Africa because we are not adding value to our Agricultural Products.” She warned that if something urgent is not done in the Agricultural sector, the increase in population would be a huge crisis for the government to manage. She challenged the members of the University community to use their knowledge to change the mind-set of the students towards Agriculture as this would birth a revolution that generations to come would never recover from.

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  • Ms Cecilia Akintomide (Second Left) in a group photograph with members of the University Management
  • Ms Cecilia Akintomide delivering her lecture
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  • The Vice-Chancellor inducting Ms Akintomide on behalf of Management into the Order of Landmark University Community (OOLMU) at the end of the lecture
Ms Cecilia Akintomide (Second Left) in a group photograph with members of the University Management1 Ms Cecilia Akintomide delivering her lecture2 Cross Section of Faculty and Staff during the lecture3 The Vice-Chancellor inducting Ms Akintomide on behalf of Management into the Order of Landmark University Community (OOLMU) at the end of the lecture4
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During the interactive segment at the end of the lecture, some members of faculty advocated for government’s clear-cut policy to guide the Agricultural Sector. Other issues raised were, the elimination of corruption which hinders innovation and passion among young people who have interest in Agriculture, the reorganization of local farmers into various thrift societies which would guarantee them access to loan facilities and the need for the government to control population growth in order to avoid unwanted explosion in population.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Aize Obayan while appreciating the Guest Lecturer, described the lecture as the pursuit of tomorrow’s success. “I saw our departure philosophy of moving from figures to future building packaged in an interesting way. Yes the future has been presented to show what a University is able to do with figures.” She also stated that for a University to remain relevant, it must be aware that the success of yesterday and today has expired. “A University is to drive new trends and how can we drive new trends without figures and innovations. Thank you for the presentation of today, you have inspired us a great deal.” The Vice-Chancellor at the end of her remarks on behalf of Management inducted Ms Akintomide into the membership of the Order of Landmark University Community (OOLMU).